Any given Saturday night?
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua is confident that any 205-pounder ranked in the top five of his weight class can dethrone current division kingpin Jon Jones.
That may come as a surprise to fans who watched "Shogun" get broken by "Bones" at UFC 128 last March. The former PRIDE star returned from knee surgery expecting to fight Rashad Evans but was instead paired off with Jones when "Suga" was injured in training.
And speaking of Evans, Rua also believes the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2 winner, as well as former division champion Lyoto Machida, has the tools to capture the title because "there are no favorites" in this weight class.
"Shogun" elaborates to ESPN.co.uk:
"Lyoto is in the top five, just as Jon Jones is in the top five. Whenever you pit two top-five athletes against each other, there is no favorite. Anybody can win. The same can be said for any of the guys, like Rashad [Evans], anybody at the top of the rankings can beat each other on any given day. You can't have a favorite, especially in this weight class. Of course, I am always confident and would always bet on my game (against Jones). I always trust myself."
Jones withdrew from his first title defense earlier this year to have surgery on his mangled thumb following his championship win over Rua at UFC 128 last March.
Evans, who was torched by UFC President Dana White (and most of the mixed martial arts community) for waiting out his title shot against "Shogun" back in 2010, decided to get back into action against surging division prospect Phil Davis at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia while "Bones" was on the mend.
And before the ink was dry on the "Evans vs. Davis" contract, Jones re-emerged to announce he won't be needing surgery after all and will actively pursue his next fight.
Recent reports indicate that could be against Machida or Quinton Jackson, if "Rampage" is able to get past Matt Hamill at UFC 130 on May 28.
And according to Rua, either of them can beat Jones.
Do you agree?